I am writing to you as a member of the Labour Party in despair. We are a great party – in fact, the greatest party. We have achieved so many great things in government and I believe we can, and must, do it again.
I want us to do what we do best: govern! When we were in government, we made huge advances for our country. In our first majority government, we created something we cherish to this day – our NHS. We built a safety net for the poorest and the most disadvantaged, which many still rely on to keep them and their families afloat: The Welfare System.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Harold Wilson did amazing things. He launched a ferocious attack on poverty and inequality. Under Wilson, living standards rose for the working class and he ensured that the poorest had the support they needed from the welfare system.
Harold led the charge towards creating a more progressive, liberal Britain. He reformed our policy on abortion, changed our outdated ways on marriage and divorce, he altered our path on race relations and homophobia, and he legislated for equal pay for equal work, just one battle in an ongoing war. Education was proven to be a way of attaining better social mobility and equality. He also stood up for Britain on the world stage, he deprived America (quite rightly) of support in Vietnam, a war that would’ve left us with profound problems, both morally and financially.
Finally, take a look at the feats of the last Labour government. It went further than many, if any, before it. We, as a party, did spectacular things for the nation. We transformed the way we went about doing things. We were a truly modernising government.
Firstly, we introduced the national minimum wage, a step towards getting greater income equality, and stopping British workers’ wages being undercut. We lifted more than 1,000,000 pensioners and 600,000 children out of poverty. We brought an end to the fighting in Northern Ireland and gave the people of Northern Ireland more power by devolving more powers to the national assembly.
Under Labour Home Secretaries, overall crime was cut by 32%. Up to 100% of debts owed by some of the poorest countries were written off.
I know that we have to do this again, and I know we are capable of doing things like this again, but only with the right leader. My fear is that you are not that leader. We have constantly trailed in the polls, we have broken records for our abysmal polling.
Although I remain hopeful that Owen will be elected, there is of course a great chance you will be elected as leader - nearly every indication is pointing towards that. Therefore, I ask this of you:
If you are re-elected in September, it is in the party’s interest that you to start addressing the abuse in our party more seriously than you are at present.
I also want you to improve the way your office works and communicates with our PLP. I advise you to start reaching out to disaffected moderates both within the Parliamentary Labour Party, the broader membership, and the even wider electorate so we avoid a split – a terrible outcome for our party and for the country. This is how we have won our great victories in the past, and I am determined this is how we will win the next general election!
We’re historically trailing in the polls, we lost seats at the local elections, we allowed the Tories to beat us in Scotland and we have seen UKIP enter the Welsh Assembly. Yet, you said we ‘hung on’, this is a total failure of leadership. We need a leader who is both radical and credible, one of the many reasons I am so enthused by Owen Smith.
Finally, I wish to say this – if we are still in this pathetic position in a few months’ time, you will have no option but to do the right thing and resign. I don’t want that to happen – I want us to win. So I beg you, pull your socks up and lead this party for goodness’ sake!
|Jeremy Corbyn is fighting off s leadership challenge from Owen Smith|
An Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn: Pull your socks up and lead the party, or resign Reviewed by Student Voices on 09:32 Rating: